Fifth-Inning Dooms Gauchos in 6-4 Loss to Purdue

Alyssa Diaz (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)
Alyssa Diaz (Photo by Lyndsay Radnedge)

CATHEDRAL CITY, CALIF. - Facing Purdue (2-8) on day two of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, UCSB (3-8) found itself with a lead for the fifth straight game, AS senior left fielder Kristen Clark gave her team a 2-1 advantage in the third inning off a double from freshman Alyssa Diaz. However, a four-run fifth inning proved to be enough for the Boilermakers to snatch just their second win of the season, as they went on to defeat the Gauchos 6-4.

Clark ended a run of two games without a hit by going 2-4 at the plate with one run. She is now 12 hits away from becoming the Gauchos' all-time hits leader.

Diaz finished 1-4 with an RBI, extending her team-leading streak to six consecutive outings with a hit. She has failed to record a hit just twice in 11 games this season.

Following a scoreless first inning, Purdue opened the scoring with a run in the second. Sophomore second baseman Sierra Altmeyer would then tie it at 1-1 in the bottom of the second by putting away her first home run of the season.

After Clark scored in the third inning to make it 2-1, Purdue would put up the next five runs. First, the Boilermakers tied it at 2-2, capitalizing on a UCSB error in the top of the fourth. The top of the fifth would see Purdue score four runs on three hits to take a 6-2 lead.

Leading off in the bottom of the fifth, junior outfielder Jessica Johnston knocked a double to right center for her only hit of the game. She would eventually make it home on a Purdue error to cut the lead to 6-3. Johnston has now tallied a hit in five straight games.

The Gauchos' final run of the day came from freshman Kayla Krantz in the bottom of the sixth. After a single and a stolen base put her on second, Krantz cut the Boilermakers' lead to 6-4 off a single from redshirt freshman Whitney Pemberton. It was Pemberton's first RBI since her two-run homer in UCSB's third game of the season against Wichita State (Feb. 11). Unfortunately for the Gauchos, it would also be their last of the game.

Krantz went an efficient 2-3 at the plate, tying Clark for the team-high in hits. Overall, UCSB matched Purdue 9-9 in hits, ending up with a 2-1 advantage in doubles and a 1-0 advantage in home runs. The Gauchos also finished with a season-high four stolen bases, nearly matching their total of six through their first ten games.

UCSB will play a single game tomorrow for the second straight day when it takes on No. 20 Missouri at 8 p.m.